Passengers waiting on the Victoria line platform at London’s Brixton Station today were soothed this morning, as Transport for London tested its’ new ‘panic-free’ apocalypse alarm for the first time.
Following mounting concern that loud, shrill alarms of the kind used in most building fire alarm systems cause panic and disorientation, TfL has pioneered a new form of ‘voice alarm’.
This new alarm features a suave and authoritative male voice instructing the public in Received Pronunciation that there has been an emergency and they are to remain calm. Faced with such instruction, the public seemed inclined to obey, even when the actual message read out ought to have been genuinely harrowing.
Passenger Ray Banks, who left the station in a zen-like state, clearly could not remember the message that he had just heard. When asked, he said “Something about being calm. So very calm. Such a nice man.” For the benefit of Gazette readers, the full script is below:
“Ladies and gentlemen, due to a pre-emptive nuclear strike, the atmosphere outside this station and across the capital has turned to acid. In approximately 6 minutes, radioactive death gas will seep through the bedrock to platform level, slowly and agonisingly melting you from the inside out. Please evacuate the station calmly.
You will be reassured to learn that your corpses will be harvested by robots and recycled into biofuel to power the heat lamps necessary to sustain your lizard overlords in the absence of our now shrouded sun.
We would therefore ask you to refrain from flailing in agony during your slow, hideous deaths, as leakage will reduce energy efficiency by up to 3%. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter, and for remaining calm.
There is a good service on the Piccadilly line.”